The Wall Street Journal announced today that it was shutting down ‘some’ of its online systems due to a breach of its cyber security. Posted at the Journal’s website online.wsj.com, writers Gregory J. Millman and Jeffrey Trachtenberg report that “The systems have been taken offline in an effort to isolate any attacks, according to people familiar with the matter. Journal officials hadn’t found any damage or tampering to news graphics, said one of these people, but the systems are still being reviewed for signs of compromise”.
The breach was first reported to the WSJ by ‘IntelCrawler’ a cybersecurity firm located in California. The hacker who made the breach is writing on social media that user information stolen from the website is for sale as are the processes to control the WJS system.
This shutdown comes on the heels of a report filed only days ago that the WSJ Facebook page had been hacked and false news stories were posted about the crash of Air Force One with President Obama aboard. Writing for the Huffingtonpost.com, Catherine Taibi reported on 7/20 that “The Wall Street Journal eventually deleted the posts and informed its readers that it had been “compromised.”
This cyber security breach is troubling for three reasons.
First, it adds to the ongoing cyber assault on the digital systems across the U.S. From newspapers to the energy industry, prominent businesses to the DoD, our cyber systems are constantly being assailed by those with malicious intent.
Second, the WSJ network was previously hacked in 2013 when a supposedly Chinese backed group broke into the system at the Journal. One would think that after the 2013 breach the WSJ would have hardened their cyber defenses to prevent a recurrence.
Finally, there is the danger that, instead of alarm bells going off in every cyber sector, this latest breach of a major news outlet website will simply be lost in the din of daily news stories as just another ho-hum breach, when in fact we should be rushing to the walls to defend our systems.
The cyber warning bells are ringing … but is anyone listening?